Cakebread Cellars, the  Napa Valley winery founded by Jack and Dolores Cakebread in 1973, will host its 25h annual American Harvest Workshop Celebration Aug. 18-20.

More than 50 U.S. and international chefs, all alumni of the workshop, will return to will participate in the weekend of events.

Started in 1986 by Jack and Dolores Cakebread and now overseen by Cakebread’s Culinary Director Brian Streeter, the American Harvest Workshop  is the longest continuously running winery culinary program of its kind in the Napa Valley. 

At a typical American Harvest Workshop, Streeter and the Cakebreads host five chefs from around the world for five days of learning, tasting, cooking, grape-picking (workshop always takes place during wine grape harvest), purveyor-visiting and more.

A small number of non-chef attendees,including Cakebread wine club members and a handful of members of the trade and media, participate alongside the chefs. 

This year, to mark its silver anniversary, and in lieu of hosting a traditional workshop, the Cakebreads have invited every chef who has attended the program in the past to return to the winery to attend a special workshop and cook at several celebration events.

Among the 51 chefs who accepted the offer and will participate in this year’s celebration are Rick Moonen (RM Seafood, Las Vegas, Nev.); Kevin Taylor (Restaurant Kevin Taylor, Denver, Colo.; Pascal Oudin (Pascal’s on Ponce, Coral Gables, Fla.)Ken Frank (La Toque, Napa); Scott Gottlich (Bijoux, Dallas, Texas) and Sujan Murkherjee (Taj Bengal, West Bengal, India);

The centerpiece of the three-day program is the Grand Chefs’ Tasting on Aug. 19. It’s open to the public and tickets, at $75 per person, are now available. At this walk-around tasting, featuring dishes by 24 of the participating chefs, attendees will have the chance to explore the entire winery, eating and sipping along the way. 

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“We were thrilled — and humbled — by the response to the invitations for this 25th anniversary celebration,” Streeter said. “We’ll have chefs here who attended the very first workshop in 1986, all the way through chefs who attended last year’s harvest workshop. The chefs hail from dozens of states and three continents. 

“The American Harvest Workshop has always been about bringing together chefs to learn about, taste, and experiment with great American food and wine — and having so many alumni return to celebrate the program is an honor. It’s going to be a truly special event.”

The American Harvest Workshop is the centerpiece of Cakebread Cellars’ year-round culinary program, which includes frequent cooking classes and food events at the winery, led by Streeter and his staff. In addition, Streeter works with winemaker Julianne Laks on monthly recipes and wine pairings, which are featured as text and videos on Cakebread’s web site and Facebook page.

Food and cooking, and how they relate to wine, have been integral to Cakebread Cellars’ mission since the winery opened in 1973. Dolores Cakebread’s famed vegetable and herb garden at the front of the winery is further testament to the family’s emphasis on the links between food and wine, and their longtime culinary focus sets Cakebread apart from other major wineries in the region.

Cakebread Cellars is at 8300 St. Helena Highway in Rutherford. Learn more at cakebreadcellars.com.

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